INEC to deploy 12,000 ad hoc staff for FCT area council poll
Assures candidates of level-playing field
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), will deploy 12,000 ad hoc personnel for the February 12, 2022 area council election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
During a town hall meeting with women groups and gender-focused civil society organisations in Abuja, yesterday, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for FCT, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, also assured that the commission would provide a level-playing field for all candidates in the election.
Bello, who was represented by the FCT Administrative Secretary of INEC, Mr. Waziri Zannah, at the event organised by the commission, in collaboration with European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), expressed the commission’s readiness to conduct a free and fair poll.
He charged women groups to sensitise and mobilise youths and other women to come out en masse during the election and vote for their preferred candidates.
Bello said: “It is high time women came out en masse to participate in the electoral process. The commission provides a level-playing ground for all eligible voters. It will count everyone’s vote and will be transparent in the election.”
According to him, everything is ready and INEC will be deploying over 12,000 ad-hoc staff.
“In the meantime, CSOs have a duty to perform after this function because our CSOs and the women groups are to enlighten our youths. In any election, whenever there is a problem, it is our youths. These youths are your sons and brothers, and they listen to you as their mothers and sisters. They need to be educated on the need to have a peaceful election,” he added.
The Deputy Project Coordinator, ECES, Wilson Manji, urged election stakeholders to ensure balanced voting rights for all, especially women because they constitute a sensible percentage that cannot be disregarded in society.
Director, Gender and Inclusivity Department, INEC, Blessing Obidegwu, stressed the need for women groups and CSOs to strategise and facilitate the inclusion of women in the election.
Obidegwu described the equal participation of women and men in all aspects of public life as a key principle of democracy, noting that the place of gender equality in democracy cannot be overemphasised.
“Women constitute almost half of the country’s population and form a critical mass of voters; so they cannot be ignored.
“CSOs, women leaders and all those responsible or concerned are to strategise and facilitate the process of enabling the active participation of women, by ensuring that identified challenges are mitigated, if not completely eradicated, before the election,” she stated.